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Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An Imperiled Western Legacy

Nearly 350 plant and animal species depend on sagebrush habitat for their survival.


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Participate in Oil and Gas Decisions on Public Lands

We recently developed a citizen's guide to participating in oil and gas decisions on your public lands called 'Fuel for Thought.' This guide provides information on:
  • The Bureau of Land Management's role in managing public lands
  • How oil and gas are developed on public lands
  • Exactly how you can get more involved
Read the guide here.

Reports and Publications

Recent Publications

Border Report:
Population Status and Trends of Big Game and Greater Sage- Grouse Along the Colorado/Wyoming State Line
This study compiles 20 years of data on elk, mule deer, pronghorn, moose, and greater sage grouse along the Colorado/Wyoming state line. Previously, the population trends of big game herds that lived along the state lines were not analyzed due to incompatibility of the modeling systems used by CO and WY. Here, the question of how big game and greater sage-grouse populations along the border are performing over time is finally examined.


Fuel for Thought: A Citizens Guide to Participating in Oil and Gas Decisions on Your Public Lands

Sensible Solutions: Balancing Hardrock Mining with Fish and Wildlife Resources in the West.
This report details the devastating impacts of the 1872 Mining Law on public lands in 13 Western states.

Hunting and Angling in the National Landscape Conservation System (pdf)
The Bureau of Land Management's National Landscape Conservation System is a network of some of the BLM's best lands and waters - crown jewels protected for their special cultural, ecological and scientific values. The 26-million acre System contains over 850 units and includes National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails, and other designations.

As the West continues to experience development and growth, wildlife is displaced. Global warming and invasive species put additional stress on wildlife by changing the ecosystems on which they depend.

The Conservation System is critical to the future of wildlife as it protects landscape-scale high quality habitat, critical watersheds and wildlife migration corridors. Additionally it supports our traditional uses of the land, a diversity of recreation and world-class hunting and angling.

Sportsmen for Responsible Oil and Gas Development (pdf) - Created by the National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development lays out the concerns many hunters and anglers have with the rapid pace of energy development in the West and offers solutions to Congress that they hope will become federal policy. The Sportsmen for Responsible Oil and Gas Development asks Congress to increase financial resources to state and federal fish and wildlife managers; increase public involvement; put in place protective measures of the most important fish and wildlife habitat; and to ensure the protection of both water quality and water flows. Some of these solutions are already being considered in the 2007 Energy Bill. Read the entire Sportsmen for Responsible Oil and Gas Development (pdf).

Western Governor's Association Resolution (pdf) - On February 27, 2007, the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) passed a policy resolution (07-01), which seeks to strengthen the protection of wildlife migration corridors and crucial wildlife habitat in the west. The WGA acknowledges that large intact and functioning ecosystems, healthy fish and wildlife populations, and public access to natural landscapes significantly contribute to the West's growing economies and quality of life. Therefore, maintaining migration corridors and crucial wildlife habitats are vital. However, a number of barriers currently inhibit adequate protection of these landscapes. The WGA seeks to strengthen the protection of wildlife migration corridors and crucial wildlife habitat by proposing a number of actions. Read the entire Western Governor's Association Resolution (pdf).

As a first step in this initiative, the Oil and Gas Working Group (OGWG) was convened to develop recommendations for including wildlife values into oil and gas decision-making in areas identified as wildlife corridors and crucial habitat. Read the OGWG December 2007 Report (pdf).

Executive Order: Facilitation of Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Conservation - August 17,2007
The purpose of this order is to direct Federal agencies that have programs and activities that have a measurable effect on public land management, outdoor recreation, and wildlife management, including the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat. Read the entire Executive Order here.

Scientific Studies

Sublette Mule Deer Study (Phase II): Final Report 2007

Long-term monitoring plan to assess potential impacts of energy development on mule deer in the Pinedale Anticline Project Area, 2001-2007

Prepared by H. Sawyer, R. Nielson and D. Strickland
January 10, 2009
Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc.

Using the Best Available Science to Coordinate Conservation Actions that Benefit Greater Sage-Grouse Across States Affected by Oil & Gas Development...  A New Multi-state Report!

A Literature Review of the Effects of Energy Development on Ungulates

       Prepared by M. Hebblewhite
       University of Montana, Missoula, MT

2006 Annual Report: Sublette Mule Deer Study (Phase II)

Prepared by H. Saywer, R. Nielson, D. Strickland, and L. McDonald
Nov. 30, 2006
Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc., Cheyenne, WY

Final Report for the Atlantic Rim Mule Deer Study (pdf)

Principle Investigator: Hall Sawyer
April 2007
Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc., Cheyenne, WY

Greater Sage-Grouse Winter Habitat Selection and Population Response to Energy Development

Principle Investigator: Dave Naugle, University of Montana
These two studies focus on sage-grouse lek attendance and sage grouse winter habitat use in coalbed methane natural gas development in Wyoming.
Both studies, along with others from Dr. Naugle, can be found at the University of Montana Web site.

Read a summary of the research findings by the Bureau of Land Management here.

Read Journal of Wildlife Management Article (by Kevin Doherty et al.)

Winter Habitat Selection of Mule Deer Before and During Development of a Natural Gas Field (pdf)

Primary Investigator: Hall Sawyer, Western Ecosystems Techology, Inc.
Other Investigators: R.M. Nielson, F. Lindzey, and L.L. McDonald.
2006. Published in the Journal of Wildlife Management.
Read the entire study (pdf) via theWestern EcoSystems Technology, Inc. website.

Read a summary of the research findings here.

Wildlife and Energy Development: Pronghorn on the Upper Green River Basin - Year 1 Summary (pdf, 5M)

Investigators: Joel and Kim Berger, Jon Beckman, Wildlife Conservation Society
2006. This report summarizes the first year of a 5-year study, therefore analyzes are preliminary and subject to change and interpretation.
Read the entire study (pdf) from the Wildlife Conservation Society's website.

Read a summary of the research findings here.

Wildlife and Energy Development: Pronghorn of the Upper Green River Basin - Year 2 Summary

Investigators: Joel and Kim Berger, Jon Beckman, Wildlife Conservation Society
This report summarizes the second year of a 5-year study of pronghorn in the Upper Green River Basin.

Sage-grouse Population Response to Natural Gas Field Development in Western Wyoming (pdf, 3.5M)

Investigator: Matt Holloran, University of Wyoming
Read the entire study on the Wyoming Game and Fish website.

Read a summary of the research findings here.

Wildlife Impacts from Energy Development in Wyoming's Upper Green River Valley - The Wilderness Society contracted with experts to review existing land management plans and oil and gas Environmental Impact Statements in the Upper Green River Valley in southwestern Wyoming. Two reports resulted from this work--one on big game and the other on sage-grouse.

Effects of Coalbed Methane Development on Great Plains Fish Assemblages

Wild Fish Habitat Initiative (2005-2007
The goal of this research is to better understand the influence of coalbed methane development on the aquatic biota and habitats of southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming. The research team’s specific objective is to determine the effect of coalbed methane development on intermittent prairie stream fish assemblages.

Potential Impacts of Energy Development on Fisheries in the Rocky Mountain West (Annotated Bibliography)

Report prepared for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.  This review is divided into three sections: (1)effects of landscape disturbances, (2) effects of industrial pollutants and by-productsm, and (3) habitat and species management and assessment.

Other Publications (Brochures, Fact Sheets, Etc.)

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership's FACTS Brochure (pdf) - This brochure outlines a plan to address the rapid growth of energy development using the FACTS - funding, accountability, coordination, transparency and science.

Otero Mesa Fact Sheet (pdf)

Oil and Gas Development: Changing our Western Lands Fact Sheet (pdf)

Drilling Away our Clean Air: New Report Finds Air Pollution from Oil and Gas Drilling on the Rise (Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action)